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Old 04-23-2021, 07:49 PM   #1
Fred A
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Default Tight Engine Troubles?

I have a rebuilt engine that sat too long without being turned over and it is difficult to turn over without removing the starter and using a 24 inch pry bar on the gear. Cranked by hand it will barely turn until it freezes again. Am I going to need to tear it down and find the most troubled area. I have oiled it heavily from the spark plug holes and poured oil down the distributor hole for no improvement after forcing it to turn over. It has never been run since it was built. I somehow expected it to been ok with the assembly lube. Wrong again! I don't want to damage anything so now for a cautious approach. Any tips or warnings? Thanks: Fred A
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

Was the motor rebuilt by someone experienced in doing motors from this era. Many younger rebuilders set tolerances way too tight, jus like they would in a modern engine. The result is just like you describe. If that is so, I suggest dismantling it and checking the clearances. You may have to give the bores a lick with a hone and put some shims in the bearings.
If it has sat for a long time, I wouldn't try to start it without turning it over enough times to get oil through everything. What oil might have been in it will have drained away from where it is needed.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

It may be congealed or dried out assembly lube. Before you disassemble the bearings, you might try squirting some WD-40 or other light oil into the bearings to free them up.
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

Luckily [sort of?], this engine was first done by Dan Iandola. It then went to Taylor Engines to have the rest of the engine assembled. As a run ready engine it was installed. The then owner had trouble getting it started, troubled by an oil leak. The starter seemed to spin the engine as normal and I bought the stalled project. It now has been with me for five years and at that point it was still turning freely. I was surprised that it now is now stiff and beyond hand cranking. I have other engine that have not run in decades that are still turning freely where assembly lube was used. Lubriplate is another matter. The once popular Lubriplate can turn to the lubricity of pipe joint compound rather quickly. Either way the WD-40 sounds like a good start. Not thrilled about pulling the engine for access but I may start with pulling the pan to see. Thanks Again: Fred A
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:37 AM   #5
Richard in Anaheim CA
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

It was built by a great shop. I would be tempted to make sure it had a full pan of clean oil, pull the plugs, squirt some marvel mystery oil in the bores and tow it in high gear for a hundred feet or so.

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Old 04-24-2021, 07:24 AM   #6
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Disconnect the battery, remove the starter switch , remove the plugs, and with 12 volts jumper cables from your modern car positive to a head nut, touch the starter for a few cranks ( not to over heat the starter) and again, and again, it should free up your tight motor! I was told that back in the day it was common to pull start car after overhauling.
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred A View Post
Luckily [sort of?]The once popular Lubriplate can turn to the lubricity of pipe joint compound rather quickly.
Amen brother, you sure got that right.
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

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Amen brother, you sure got that right.
Dan was a great craftsman, and back in his heyday Lubriplate was considered the best. And yes, pipe compound is a great comparison!!

In Dan's defense, there were very few alternatives back then. I generally attend one or two racing trade shows (- like PRI in Indy) where many of the engine rebuilding trade suppliers are there with their 'secret formula' assembly lubes, ...however the irony is at the engine machinist seminars I attend, the general consensus is only use an assembly lubricant that you would normally place in the crankcase during routine oil changes.

Fred, in your case, the correct way to address this is to remove the crankshaft and the pistons/rods from the cylinder case (block), and clean all of the old Lubriplate including swabbing the oil tubes in case some of that congealed inside the tube(s). Then use engine oil on all bearings and piston rings & skirts. (Also disassemble the oil pump to ensure it was not filled with the white grease too!) Also wipe the cam clean on lobes and journals. Use oil on the journals. For me personally, I would add a small amount of cam assembly lube (Total Seal makes one) to the lobes only, -and only a very small amount on each lobe so-as not to contaminate the engine oil. Then after about 20 minutes of total engine run-time, drain the oil and replace with a semi-blend synthetic.
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

Good Morning...I would pull the valve cover and see if all the valves are loose...the guides can become sticky and make it hard to turn the engine over...not unlike the rings becoming stuck to the sides of the bore. Make sure that the rods will move from side to side on the crank with lots of finger pressure or a slight tap from a small hammer. If they won't move, then take the caps off and take a look. Taylor was a great shop so the bearings might just be dry and need to be washed and given new oil. Do the same with the Mains...You can use plastiguage (sp) if you want to check the clearances. Also the problem could be the distributor bearings. Easy to just remove the distributor and see if she cranks...be gentle...find the problem...all can be done with the engine in the car. If you have a complete engine with the water pump...loosen the belt...the water pump can also become stiff and make things feel over tight... A little Holy Water can't help! Ernie in Arizona
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Old 04-24-2021, 11:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

This is not going to be good news, but from experience, necessary.
Pull the motor out and do a disassembly.
I know this is a ton of work, especially after putting it in.
I had one, a "B" that was assembled with lubriplate 20 years ago.
It had hardened in the main oil feed tubes and needed quite a bit of pressure to clean it out. There is no way a non pressurized motor will push the hardened lube out of the bearings.
Best of luck, John
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

I agree with Brent, Ernie, & John. There aren’t any shortcuts, but Ernie’s suggestion is a good starting point and has at least a chance of saving you the whole teardown. I’d be very hesitant to use a pry bar on my ring gear in a case of an engine as tight as you describe.
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Last edited by 700rpm; 04-24-2021 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

I assume the plugs are out while you are trying to turn it over. I would try pulling it rearward in third gear. Just might start to turn a bit.
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

I would tear it down also. Too much could get damaged before it frees up if you start it.
Also it is easy to get rust in cyliders after sitting that long.

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Old 04-24-2021, 06:34 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

Engines that have been thoroughly broken in, maybe 5,000 miles on then, can sit for years and then start right up. A newly rebuilt engine that sits for years will have tight clearances and with pipe joint compound in the bearings will be hard to turn over. The best thing to do is to disassemble the engine as many have advised. But first I would try the WD-40 route: bearings and valve stems. You can always say: "Well that didn't work." The fear is clogged arteries as John Neilson wrote about. But if the previous owner had turned the engine over there may have been enough oil in the tubes to wash out the fresh assembly lube.
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A is for apple, green as the sky.
Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
My car grows red hair, and flies through the air.
Driving's a blast, a blast from the past.
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Old 04-24-2021, 09:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

Don't waste your time that over-hyped WD(Water Displacement)-40! I doubt you have any water in the bearings! Use real penetrant like PB Blaster, Kroil, Liquid Wrench, etc.
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Old 04-24-2021, 09:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tight Engine Solution, What a Fool Can Learn.

Diving in, or should that be under. Starting with the top to remove distracting friction, removing fan belt. Wishful thinking went right to backing off but not removing the rod caps. WD 40 with spout, weapon of choice up the dippers and the top and around the sides. A gray streaked drool with the fright of slipping shim packs caught in time doubled my caution. The still tight main caps limit my squirts to around the edges and up the rear main drain tube. The screen in the oil pump appeared very clear, possibly by only prying the flywheel anti-clock (from the front). Satisfied that the rear main was wet, the front two were hosed clean after a less satisfying process. Don't think I was not often pulling on the hand crank looking for a quick fix. Going electric, the spin speed of the starter on 12V with plugs removed was a big relief. I have another two engines that has not been tested in ages. Always thinking the're money in the bank may not be true, but I'm caught by the long trust that they'll be OK. Am I that Fool? Fred A
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Old 04-24-2021, 10:59 PM   #17
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

From your description, it sounds like it has freed up. Button it up, fill it with fresh oil, and start it. Is there a way to fill the oil chamber where the valves are? That way the bearings will be getting oil from the getgo.
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A is for apple, green as the sky.
Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
My car grows red hair, and flies through the air.
Driving's a blast, a blast from the past.
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Old 04-24-2021, 11:07 PM   #18
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

Yes, remove the distributor and pour a quart of oil down the hole it sits in.
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Old 04-24-2021, 11:29 PM   #19
Fred A
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

Pouring oil down the distributor hole probably is part of the therapy. It was what I did, second to pouring into the top end through the plug holes. Still a humbling experience where we want it to go together in stead of spending a couple of days playing catchup. These days could be happier spent to get something done buttoning these monsters together. What took me a couple of days years ago now takes a month. Thanks to all the coaching offered by the Barn. Feels like I got away with something. Fred A
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Old 04-25-2021, 04:20 PM   #20
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Default Re: Tight Engine Troubles?

Good that you got it. I am 77 and the hard jobs now take forever. Simple fixes are appreciated.

John.
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